Resistance to change and lack of social media understanding among senior leaders is stifling innovation and transparency in UK organisations, says research by CIPD.
In the report titled Social media and employee voice: the current landscape, employers are urged to recognise that social media drives collaboration and transparency, and those who do not embrace it will find themselves at a disadvantage.
Findings showed that senior leaders are often unable to grasp how social media works and the power of the data it can generate. The report also noted that too much weight is given to the potential dangers of social media, while the benefits of more traditional systems are overrated.
Some of the positive benefits of social media include an open channel for employees to feed views, concerns and ideas upwards, and greater knowledge sharing and innovation between employees at all levels.
Social media interactions can also give organisations access to a unique blend of qualitative and quantitative data, which in turn can drive greater employee and customer insight, said the report.
Jonny Gifford, research adviser at the CIPD, said that social media was an opportunity to enhance ‘employee voice’ within organisations.
“For organizations to thrive, employees must be given the opportunity to discuss how their organisations can innovate and feed their views upwards, as well as having the freedom to blow the whistle about genuine issues at work,” he explained.
“Social media won’t always be the most appropriate channel for discussing issues, but employers must wake up to the fact that they can’t ignore it. Employee voice expressed through social media is much more influential because it is more likely to be heard.”